There is no shortage of anecdotes about classic Filipino traits and characteristics. Here’s one: we are known for resiliency in adversity and gratefulness to acts of goodwill we received. This rings true for the occupants of ALPAS I HOA, a community-driven housing project of Social Housing Finance Corporation in Barangay Panaklayan, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
Mrs. Santos, a mother of three, and her fellow homeowners used to live along Marilao River in Barangay Bagong Silang in Caloocan, which is prone to flooding and landslide during typhoons and the rainy season. “Tuwing tag-ulan, expect na po namin iyon na magbabaha. Kasi tuwing umuulan talagang lumalaki po ang (tubig) sa ilog,” she said as she recalled their harrowing experience in their previous settlement.
Not only had their living conditions changed significantly since transferring to ALPAS I HOA but also their attitude towards life. Residents have developed a positive outlook in life, leaving behind their old habits and grow into responsible citizens of the community. “Ngayon nga ako ay isang Building Committee dito, lagi kong pinapaalala sa kanila na huwag na nating dalhin yung ugali natin doon sa pinanggalingan natin. At tsaka dito meron tayong oras sa paglabas ng basura. Hindi kagaya noon na ang basura hinahagis lang naming sa ilog ‘yan,” Mrs. Santos noted. “Dito ang laki ng pagbabago.”
Last month, SFHC conducted an occupancy validation in ALPAS I HOA to determine the number of actual occupants following the turnover of housing units on April 14. The validation team found that there are 280 occupied units out of the total 546 units, or an occupancy rate of 51 percent. In addition, the team reported that electricity is now available in the relocation site, allowing residents to start home-based enterprises such as sari-sari stores. Furthermore, trucks distributing water supply was made available to the households at Php 35 per drum.
This development happened after the Commission on Audit called out SHFC in February that this Php 214-million housing project remains idle due to non-availability of water supply. In response, SHFC maintains that it does not allow member beneficiaries to occupy their units without the basic necessities such as water and electricity. It also explained that ALPAS 1 HOA requested that they be allowed to transfer to their units since the majority of its member-beneficiaries are still living in danger zones or flooded areas. SFHC heeded to their request because it understands the immediate needs of the beneficiaries.
The ALPAS 1 HOA is a community-driven project by SHFC which was implemented through the People’s Plan approach with a goal of relocating a total of 546 beneficiaries to a safer community and improve their quality of life.
SHFC is the lead agency assisting underprivileged communities to secure land tenure through shelter financing and development solutions by Building Adequate Livable Affordable and Inclusive (BALAI) Filipino communities. For more info, call (+632) 750-6337 or visit www.facebook.com/shfcph.
“Sobrang laki pong blessing sa amin itong bahay na ito. Dahil kami po mismo na nakatira dito, ibang-iba na po ang sitwasyon namin ngayon. Matatawag na po namin na bahay na po talaga siya,” shared Cecilia Santos, one of the owners of the occupied housing units that were turned over in April, as she expressed her gratitude when she finally realized her family’s dream of owning their own home. “Sobrang blessed kami na ginamit kayo ng Diyos at ng gobyerno natin na makatira kami sa ganitong bahay.”